I’m always a little unsure of the line between blogging and just journaling, so I try not to tell too many stories that revolve solely around my personal life. But with that said, one can only cut so many construction paper hearts before one gets a pretty bad paper cut… I mean, before one starts getting a little sentimental about her own Valentine. (Who, by the way, is spending yet another Valentine’s day on the opposite side of the world from me.)
So in honor of my favorite Hallmark Holiday -and the unstoppable cuteness that is filling my instagram feed- I figured why the heck not share a couple of my favorite stories about that boy I married 6 months ago. So tonight, let’s start with the one where we met at a wedding.
It was May 2011. I was dating someone. Dane was about to deploy again. Neither of us went to that wedding intending to meet someone.
The groom was one of my best friends in college. Dane had gone to pilot training with him in Mississippi. They were out together the night the groom met his bride. I remember getting a phone call from Kevin a few months after he’d started dating Lauren. “Oh, she’s the one!” I gushed as he filled me in. It was obvious just from the way he talked about her that this was the last time he would tell me about a new girl. He was done. I could tell. Sure enough, a few years later there wasn’t a dry eye in the church as she walked down the aisle and they started their forever together. They met, they fell in love, they got married. Our story is nothing like theirs- but I love it all the same. And without their love story… we wouldn’t have ours.
After a beautiful ceremony we caravanned over to the River House in downtown St. Augustine where we sipped cocktails on the terrace before forming a line to enter the grand ballroom for the reception. It was while I was standing in that line that Dane’s best friend approached me asking if I would take a photo of him with his “life partner.” And so, I first laid eyes on the boy I would marry. They’d been roommates for the last ten years, they explained as they posed in front of the fireplace. I liked them immediately.
Then The Roommate asked me if I would mind taking a picture with each of them to help “keep up appearances”. And I ask you ladies… who could refuse? I handed him the camera and took his place, posing with his roommate. “Hi, I’m Mindy,” I said. “Dane,” he responded right before the flash. This picture was our introduction. Romantic, right? Ahhh… But there is more.
We were seated at different tables (somewhat purposely, as the groom had never imagined that we would hit it off) but when dinner was over, no one seemed anxious to cut a rug… No one that is except for Dane, Dan (The Roommate), and, well- me. So we danced.
Let these pictures serve as evidence that had the circumstances been different, it might have been love at first sight. But the circumstances weren’t different. We lived on opposite sides of the country. I wasn’t exactly “available” and he was about to deploy. The timing wasn’t right for either of us, and we both knew it- so we just danced and sang and had a marvelous time. I caught the bouquet and he gave me his wings. Later that night a friend said, “Well, you certainly won that wedding.” And she was right. Anyone in attendance, (minus the two dozen guys I’d gone to college with who were all a little surprised) might have assumed we were a couple. The photographer certainly did! But we were just having a great time. At the end of the weekend, we exchanged numbers, with no real intent of staying in touch, and went our separate ways.
Months went by without a single word, until one day the bride posted the photos from her reception on facebook. It was *picture perfect* evidence that (at the very least) we made great dance partners. I was no longer dating anyone, but figured he was likely still in the desert, so I sent him a message via facebook that read: “So where in the world are you these days?” (Suuuuuuper clever opening line! Make a mental note, girls!) That afternoon he wrote back and we began a very long and very time consuming pen pal relationship. Not a day went by that we didn’t send each other at least half a dozen messages. I’d tell you more but this is the point in the story where how we met begins to overlap with the story of how we became best friends… and that doesn’t come until tomorrow.
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.